They waited for a moment, wondering, and then a burst of light came from some unseen quarter and the four men were seen standing in line on a rock which lifted above the sloping floor.
“Now for the ghosts!” whispered Jimmie. “Who’s first?”
NIGHT IN AN ANCIENT CITY
Frank Shaw and Jack Bosworth, suddenly awakened from a sound sleep in the little mud shack in the cornfield, in the suburbs of Tientsin, were not a little astonished at finding themselves rolled deftly out of the blankets in which they had wrapped themselves before lying down.
“What’s coming off here?” demanded Frank, rubbing his eyes and gazing blankly about the hovel. “What kind of a hotel is this?”
“What did you do that for?” asked Jack, edging newer to Frank. “Why this midnight industry? What did you pull me out of me covers for?”
“I didn’t!” cried Frank. “You pulled me out!”
“Not me!” Jack answered. “I was catching German carp, in the upper lagoon in Central Park, N.Y., just a second ago. Sorry I woke up before I got a mess!”
“Who did it, then?” asked Frank. “Some one gave me a thump in the wind and then rolled me out of the drapery of me elegant couch.”
“Search me!” Jack replied. “I got something like that, also. I’ll bet it’s the blooming marines, playing an alleged joke! I’m going out to heave a rock at them.”
“Wait!” whispered a voice. “Don’t make so much noise, either. You’re pinched!”
“That’s Bowery!” cried Jack.
“Come on and show yourself!” Frank commanded. “What are you hiding back there in the darkness for? Who are you, and where did you come from? What did you wake me up for, anyway?”
“Black Cat Patrol, Chicago!” was the reply that came through the darkness. “You’re both Black Bears, New York,” the voice went on. “I saw the badges on your vests.”
Both boys sprang to their feet instantly. This was something worth while. A Boy Scout in China!
“Got a light?” asked Frank. “I’ll just like to see whether you’re a Black Cat or not.”
“Nix on the light,” was the reply.
“That’s South Clark street, below Van Buren,” laughed Jack.
“All right,” Frank said, in answer to the boy’s negative, “I’ve got a flashlight.”
“Then keep it out of sight,” advised the other. “I don’t want to stir up these soldiers. Perhaps they won’t let you go with me.”
“Oh, they won’t?” Jack grumbled. “We’ll see! Turn on your light, Frank, old top!”
Frank, “old top.” turned on his light, and the two saw a boy of apparently fifteen standing immediately in front of them. He was slender but muscular, and his red hair and blue eyes betokened anything but Asiatic ancestors.
The lad extended his right hand in full salute and waited.